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Pod People

Pod People is a newsletter from Melissa Locker, who writes podcast criticism for The Guardian. Pod People is intended to help people find new podcasts or revisit old ones and hopefully find a few new favorites to help you wile away the hours.


02/08/2017Escape into the loving embrace of a romance novel – although don’t think you’ll be able to escape gender politics while you’re in there. Bea and Leah Koch, proprietors of America’s sole romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, consider the genre; and publisher Lisa Milton scrolls through the 109-year history of the imprint that epitomises romance … Continue reading 50. Under the Covers – part I
We have Valentine’s Day to thank for The Allusionist’s delightful look at romance novels.
01/17/2017 Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists, and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable solution, because most of its citizens see the problem of poverty from a distance, through a distorted lens. So we present "Busted: America's Poverty Myths," a series exploring how our understanding of poverty is shaped not by facts, but by private presumptions, media narratives, and the tales of the American Dream.  Brooke traveled to Ohio, a state that reflects the varied nature of poverty, to talk directly with people who are poor and understand how they got that way, and why, under current policies, they are likely to stay that way. You'll hear from them over the next several weeks. But first, we examine how the story of poverty gets told -- and whether media attention makes any difference -- with the help of Jack Frech, a longtime Athens County welfare director who has been leading reporters on "poverty tours" of Appalachia for decades.  “Busted: America’s Poverty Myths” is produced by Meara Sharma and Eve Claxton, with special thanks to Nina Chaudry. This series is produced in collaboration with WNET in New York as part of “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.” Major funding for “Chasing the Dream” is provided by the JPB Foundation, with additional funding from the Ford Foundation. Songs:  "Ec-Stacy" by Jess Stacy "Gavotte in A Minor" by Matthew Camidge, arr. by Andy Boden "Youkali Tango-Habanera" by Kurt Weill; performed by the Armadillo String Quartet      
I personally find On the Media slightly soporific (it’s healthier than a night cap) but Busted, their latest mini-series on poverty in America, had the opposite effect. Now I'm woke af.
01/16/2017 Solange Knowles released her first album in 2002, at the age of 16. Her third album, A Seat at the Table, came out in September 2016, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. It’s gotten widespread critical acclaim, including being named album of the year by Pitchfork and by Vibe. In this episode, Solange takes apart the song "Cranes in the Sky," which began back in 2008.
Did you know Solange stopped by Song Exploder?
01/18/2017Last week: boobs gone awry. This week: boobs gone just how you'd expect. But that's kinda the problem. Abigail Keel has the story. To join the conversation go to! This episode is brought to you by Aeroflow Breastpumps, Madison Reed, Yogi Teas, Sunbasket, and Tweed Wolf.
The Longest Shortest Time had a two-part episode on life with boobs [Part 1] and [Part Two]
12/22/2016The inexpensive reproductive healthcare coverage offered by the Affordable Care Act may soon be a distant memory. On today's show, we speak with a woman fresh off her own IUD insertion procedure to see how she's adjusting. Then, we revisit a classic episode from Why Oh Why's years as a baby podcast. Travel back with us to January 2014, as your host prepares for her own IUD insertion. Listen and Subscribe to LifeAfter: Why Oh Why is brought to you by LifeAfter, from GE Podcast Theater and Panoply, the creators of the award-winning series The Message. LifeAfter explores the question: What happens to our digital lives after we're gone? Listen and download LifeAfter wherever you get your podcasts. 
Why Oh Why had an absolutely fascinating, yet slightly graphic story on IUDs. If you’ve ever wondered about the lengths women will go to in order to not get pregnant, this is a good place to start.
01/17/2017With characteristic salty candor, Adam Carolla talks about his slow rise to stardom and shares tasty anecdotes and words of wisdom along the way.
Speaking of sort of gross people, Adam Carolla is the first guest on the new Forbes Interview podcast. Somehow, Carolla holds the Guinness World Record for Most Downloaded Podcast of all time. The show is good for fans of in-depth interviews with a business bent.
01/11/2017Back in September we did a callout asking for boob stories, and got a ton of responses. So this week, we’re bringing you stories about boobs. Two of them! Because, duh—boobs come in pairs. To join the conversation go to! This episode is brought to you by Third Love, Squarespace, Yogi Teas, Howl, and Tweed Wolf.
The Longest Shortest Time had a two-part episode on life with boobs [Part 1] and [Part Two]
12/15/2016Not every man has an eye for photography, and yet, so many have taken up the art form. This episode explores the subject of dick pics: epic fail or successful strategy? Spark a new conversation with DTR—a branded podcast from Tinder, produced in partnership with Gimlet Creative. 
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to receive a picture of someone’s genitals without asking, DTR—the branded podcast from Gimlet and Tinder—took a hard look at dick pics.
01/10/2017 Phoebe and Jessica run into some Hollywood stars while flying the friendly skies. Plus, Nicole Byer (MTV's Loosely Exactly Nicole) offers up a heavy dose of female empowerment for queens all across the land.  Follow @2dopequeens Featured Guest: Nicole Byer Follow @nicolebyer
For a serious dose of female empowerment, listen to Nicole Byer’s epic takedown on a mini-episode of 2 Dope Queens. It’s worth memorizing her blistering burns to repeat as necessary.